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Premier League Playoffs - Darts: Preview

After 16 weeks of darting action, the Premier League's final four have been confirmed and that quartet will do battle in Berlin on Monday evening hoping to take home top prize.

Eight started but it is Jonny Clayton, Michael van Gerwen, Joe Cullen and James Wade who are the last four standing, with Peter Wright, Gerwyn Price, Michael Smith and Gary Anderson having all come up short in the league stages.

What: Premier League Darts 2022 playoffs
Where: Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin
When: 19:10, Monday 13th June 2022
How to watch: Live on Sky Sports Main Event, Action & Darts and bet365's Sports Live Streaming

The 2022 Premier League is the 18th edition of the tournament, but it was done with a twist this year with the PDC opting to give the event a makeover.

Each of the 16 nights consisted of a mini-tournament and featured four quarter-finals, two semis and a final, all played over the best-of-11 legs.

The top four points scorers over the distance of the competition are now heading to the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin to compete for a winner's cheque of £275,000.

The semi-finals will be played over a best-of-19-leg format and the two winners will meet later in the evening to contest a best-of-21 title decider.

Having finished top of the final standings, Clayton is top seed and faces fourth-placed Cullen, while runner-up Van Gerwen renews his rivalry with third seed Wade.

Mighty Mike chasing landmark success

Phil Taylor is the most decorated player in Premier League history with six wins, but Van Gerwen has that record in his sights.

Despite partaking in the competition for just the tenth time, the Green Machine has already chalked up five wins in the event and can equal Taylor's legacy with victory in Berlin.

MvG may not be darts' dominant force like he was a few years ago, but he has been showing signs of his old sparkle more consistently this season and is 6/4 to finish the job with silverware in Germany.

However, Van Gerwen could finish only second in the league phase with 31 points, nine off the pace of Clayton.

The Dutchman won three of the 16 events - he also finished runner-up on four occasions - and he is 1/2 to come through his semi-final with Wade, who is a 13/8 chance.

Van Gerwen and Wade have already clashed seven times over the course of the Premier League, with Mighty Mike coming out on top on five occasions.

Three of those encounters went to a deciding leg but this longer format - best-of-19 instead of first to six - should only bolster the Dutchman's chances.

MvG readily brushed aside Wade 8-3 with a 98.58 average at the US Darts Masters just over a week ago. However Wade did get revenge for that loss with a 10-4 victory in the Nordic Darts Masters on Saturday.

Before that defeat, the Dutchman had won the last three best-of-19 meetings between the tw by at least four legs.

Van Gerwen is hitting maximums more consistently than ever before and Wade is unlikely to live with thar scoring prowess, suggesting he can run out a convincing winner.

The 33-year-old is 6/5 to successfully concede a handicap start of -2.5 legs and that could be the best value on offer.

Wade won the Premier League back in 2009 and he is 9/2 to add a second success in the event.

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Defending champ Clayton can finish the job

Despite being the man to beat in the league phase, with four wins and four runner-up efforts from 16 events, Clayton is considered joint-favourite to take home the prize at 6/4.

However, the Welshman showed he was one of the best in the business last year with title triumphs at the Masters, World Grand Prix and World Series of Darts.

The Ferret is, of course, the defending Premier League champion too and he looks the man they all have to beat in Berlin.

Clayton lines up against good friend Cullen in the last four and is a warm order at 4/9 to come through that clash. The Rockstar is 6/4 to spring the upset and 11/2 to be crowned Premier League champion, in what is his debut in the competition.

But the pair have met six times in this season's Premier League, with Clayton winning on four occasions, and the Ferret should confirm that form with this longer format of first to ten playing to his strengths.

Both players should be fresh having not had to travel to play in last week's Nordic Masters. However, The Rockstar has struggled since mid-May, losing six of his last ten matches, and those recent performances may not cut it against the Welshman.

Clayton appears to have the best credentials in Berlin and, given he was a 10-4 winner the last time these two met over this best-of-19 format, he could win this semi-final a shade cosily. The Ferret is 11/10 giving Cullen a +2.5-leg headstart.

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